United States Air Force Academy

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Think Outside the Atmosphere

ASTRONAUTICAL ENGINEERING

Astronautical engineers are specialized aerospace engineers that are responsible for designing, developing and testing vehicles and equipment that operate outside the Earth’s atmosphere. They focus on astrodynamics, aerospace systems design and control systems to design and build rockets and missiles, communications satellites, space navigational systems, space vehicles and other assets that contribute to our national economy and security.

The Astronautical Engineering major is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

POTENTIAL JOB ASSIGNMENTS
Within the Air Force
  • 11x – Pilot
  • 13S – Space Operations
  • 62ExB Astronautical Engineer
  • 62ExG Project (General) Engineer
  • 63Ax Acquisition Manager
Outside the Air Force
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineer
  • Spacecraft Designer
  • Structural Engineer

Approximately 50% of Astronautiacal Engineering graduates go on to become pilots while the other half go to Acquisition or Developmental Engineering duties; 30% pursue a Master’s Degree immediately after graduation (with follow-on pilot training for many); and 20% engineering jobs.

SAMPLE COURSES
  • Astrodynamics
  • Rocket Propulsion
  • Space Mission Design
  • Small Spacecraft Engineering
SUGGESTED COURSE SEQUENCE
4TH CLASS YEAR (FRESHMAN) 3RD CLASS YEAR (SOPHOMORE) 2ND CLASS YEAR (JUNIOR) 1ST CLASS YEAR (SENIOR)
Beh Sci 110

Chem 100

Com Sci 110

English 111

Engr 101

For Lang 1

For Lang 2

History 100

Math 141

Math 142

Physics 110

Astro Engr 201

Astro Engr 310

Chem 200

ECE 231

English 211

Engr Mech 220

Engr Mech 320

Law 220

Math 243

Math 245

MSS 200

Physics 215

Sys Opt Aero Engr 241

Astro Engr 321

Astro Engr 331

Astro Engr 351

Beh Sci 310

Econ 201

Engr 341

Engr 342

Engr Mech 330

History 300

Math 346

Math 356 /377

Pol Sci 211

Acad Opt Depth Opt

Aero Engr 315

Astro Engr 445

Astro S E Design Opt I

Astro S E Design Opt II

Biology 315

ECE 348

English 411

MSS 415/416

Philos 310

Soc Sci 412

Space Environment Opt

For full program requirements and course descriptions, download the current Curriculum Handbook.

ACCREDITATION INFORMATION

The Astronautical Engineering degree is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

To ensure the success of our graduates, we prepare them to achieve the following Program Educational Objectives within two to five years after graduation:

  • Recognition as successful Air Force officers through demonstration of their ability to:
    • Rapidly acquire required knowledge
    • Lead others effectively
    • Apply ethical and moral standards
    • Improve unit performance by application of organizational skills
    • Make sound decisions based on critical thinking
    • Communicate effectively
  • Selection for career training on, or ahead of, schedule, and for a progression of assignments of increasing responsibility
  • Demonstrated ability to solve Air Force technical problems
  • Success in continuing education

These objectives are assessed through Student Outcomes—the skills, knowledge and behaviors students should acquire before graduation. The outcomes for this program are:

  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  • an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  • an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  • an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  • an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  • an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  • an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies
CONTACT US

Dr. Scott Dahlke
DFAS Advisor-in-Charge
scott.dahlke@usafa.edu

WANT TO STUDY ASTRONAUTICAL ENGINEERING?